In our advanced technological era, most people are required to sit in front of a computer for more than 8 hours a day. Because of this, humans have become more lethargic. People don’t have to move much to get their work done. The only movement that has to happen is the clicking of a mouse and the pressing of buttons. Unfortunately, immobility is very bad for the human body, it’s just not natural.
Annals of Internal Medicine published a report that shows how the average person spends more than half of their waking hours in an inactive state – sitting at a computer, watching TV, commuting to and from work, etc. The study proves that sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time causes health problems like chronic back pain, poor posture and even potentially deadly diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity. Luckily, there are things you can do to avoid these sitting side effects.
If you have a job that requires you to spend more than half of the day in a sitting position then the following information is crucial for your well-being. These facts explain why your posture is so important and why it must be kept in mind at all times.
Brain, Neck, And Shoulder Problems:
It affects your cognitive abilities because of bad blood circulation. When you regularly move your body it enables a constant flow of blood and oxygen through your brain. That helps you to maintain clarity and to keep your body sharp. Not moving your body for long periods of time inhibits this healthy flow of blood in your brain. That hinders your ability to think clearly.
You will get neck pains if you don’t remember to sit up straight. After a while you might forget about your posture and begin to bend towards the computer screen. This affects the cervical vertebrae, which connects the spine to your head causing you to get pains around your neck. This poor posture, in combination with leaning over a keyboard for hours without moving, can further damage your body by over-extending the back and shoulder muscles. Over time these pains will become chronic and it will be very difficult to reverse the damage, if possible at all. You may damage yourself forever if you do not take care.
An incorrect posture for a prolonged period of time will result in back pain, inflexible spines, and disk damages. Movement keeps the soft disks between vertebrae in the spine expanding and contracting. This expansion and contraction helps the movement of blood and nutrient. If you do not move your spine the disks start to become uneven and compact. This eventually causes collagen to build up around tendons and ligaments as well which results in further stiffness.
When you sit your ab muscles go unused. This causes swayback – the unnatural over-extensions of the spine’s natural arch – as well as a decrease in the flexibility of your hips and back. Furthermore, the gluteal muscles become soft which hinders your ability to take strides and keep the body stable.
If you don’t move your body, your organs over-produce insulin which can result in heart diseases, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer. This sedentary life will also result in weight gain which may lead to diabetes or obesity.
When you sit for a long time your blood begins to pool around your ankles and your bones get weaker and less dense. That is why after sitting for a long time you may feel like your legs are swollen. According to a study on the effects of watching too much television, over the span of 8.5 years people accumulated a 61% greater risk of dying a premature death compared to those who watched less than one hour per day.
How To Avoid These Problems
Do not slouch or lean over your keyboard, ever. To help maintain a straight back posture you can use a small exercise ball to force your ab muscles to work. Part of the difficulty people have with keeping their back straight is a weak core. A backless stool also helps.
Set a reminder to stand up and walk around every thirty minutes. This will regulate the blood flow in your system. Throw a few good stretches in from time to time to keep your muscles flexible. Yoga is very good for this. There are even standing work desks available that force people to work in an upright position for sure.